Kitchen Doors: Where we ate this month, June 2017

Posted By on June 12, 2017

Ladera Taverna y Cocina

The first thing you need to know about Ladera (if you haven’t been) is that it boasts one of the nicest outdoor dining patios in the Valley. This may not be the perfect time of year to experience it (although they do have misters), but you’ll want to make a note to grab a drink and a bite on a nice Arizona evening. We hit Ladera twice in the last month — once for brunch and once for dinner. Brunch was a little underwhelming, but dinner was excellent — the missus enjoyed some delicious tacos and I endulged a bit and got the barbacoa, which was nearly perfect. The service can be a bit leisurely, but if you have the time, Ladera is a great place to spend it. — Tom Evans


Sometimes, you don’t realize you need something until you have it. That’s how I felt after eating at Üburrito at 44th and Indian School, which could best be described as “Chipotle, but a 2.0 version with significant upgrades.” The concepts are exactly the same for the most part, except Üburrito does everything just a little bit better. It offers eight types of protein choices instead of four or five; it offers Spanish rice as well as regular rice and adds refried beans to the mix; it offers four different types of tortillas instead of just one. Nachos(!) are even an option as you step up to the plate. Out of the eight(!) types of available salsa I chose the hottest, and it was actually…really hot. My steak burrito was a delight and tasted like a steak burrito, which isn’t always the case at a fast-ish-food place. — Tom Evans

Fired Pie

It all seems too good to be true. You go in, you pick your dough type, sauce, cheese, meat and veggie toppings and fresh herbs. A few minutes later your carefully curated creation is placed under your awaiting face. After your first Fired Pie experience you can understand why they have 18 locations in Arizona –it’s the real deal and it’s true you can make your own magnificent pizza, have it baked in short order and pay a reasonable price. The pizza is light, fresh and the crust has just the right thickness and crispness. I went with the house-made dough, tomato sauce and mozzarella. For meat toppings I picked pepperoni and spicy sausage. My veggie choices were jalapeno, green pepper and white onion. Herb: oregano. The pizza I ate at the 3110 N. Central Ave. location was just the right size – not too big, not too small, not too thick or thin and fresher than any pizza I’ve tasted in years.  —Mike Saucier

T. Cook’s at the Royal Palms

The renowned T. Cook’s inside the Royal Palms celebrated its 20th anniversary recently and released its light and fresh summer menu. The anniversary celebration featured three stations highlighting several of the restaurant’s most memorable dishes, including an unforgettable paella, lobster tortellini and the cream cheese crème brulee. The dishes all proved to be worthy of their classic status, and stood as a testament to the restaurants’ two decades of success, especially in conjunction with its high-end atmosphere and standout, ornate décor. When creating the summer menu, executive chef Todd Allison took advantage of the great Arizona growing weather by incorporating several local, in-season ingredients, like fresh chickpeas, morel mushrooms and green garlic. Featured items from the new menu include Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut, the Colorado Lamb Rack, Lamb Torellini and Cacio E Peoe. — Jamie Killin



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